Don’t know where to get started with fundraising?
Does your organization constantly talk about fundraising, but you don’t know how to turn that talk into effective action?
Feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Trying to replicate what other organizations are doing but not getting results?
Here are three things that your organization needs to be doing now. You don't need to be doing them perfectly, just get started and work on making them routine.
These three things are the foundation to a successful fundraising program:
ONE - APPRECIATE YOUR DONORS
Start appreciating your donors. No, I'm not talking about your standard thank you letter. If you aren't already, make daily thank you calls when you receive donations. It's so simple, takes practically no time, costs nothing and can increase giving significantly.
Not sure how? I've got you covered. My free Shoestring Fundraising Cheat Sheet walks you through step-by-step.
You can also try things like hand-written thank you notes or anything that showcases the impact of their donation.
TWO - GET TO KNOW YOUR DONORS
It's so easy to get stuck behind your desk, especially if you fundraise in a small organization where you have many duties. Get out and meet with your donors to get to know them better.
They don't have to be "big" donors - if you have a small donor list, meet with the people who are on the higher end of it, donors who give regularly, and donors who have the ability to be inspire others.
I teach you how to set up face to face meetings in my cheat sheet in case you're having a hard time getting "out there".
If you don't have any donors, start meeting with people who are potential donors and get their feedback and advice on how you can start fundraising. People will tell you a lot when you're honest and upfront.
THREE - GIVE YOUR DONORS AN INSIDER'S LOOK
Make sure that at least once a year you're giving your donors the opportunity to really connect with your core work. Whether it be an open house (which is inexpensive and effective - as outlined in the Shoestring Fundraising Cheat Sheet) or a BBQ, tour, etc. give you donors the opportunity to see first-hand what makes you so special.
BEWARE OF ‘TRIGGER HAPPY’ ASKING
I have spoken to so many people who worry about how to ask for a gift. Fundraising is like matchmaking. You’re not about to propose on the first date!
Instead, create an authentic experience for your donors and potential donors. Of course you hope they will give eventually (and when the time is right, you will need to ask), but first you just want to get to know and understand them so the relationship can be meaningful for them too.
Your success in fundraising will flow from these three actions. If your organization resonates with someone, chances are that if you can build that relationship with them, they will make room for you in their charitable giving. So you don’t need to be nervous about asking for a gift. When the time comes to “pop the question”, you should already know that the answer is “yes”.